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On Running Feuds
The Case of the Disappearing GungHo Games
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 12, 2012   |   Episode 188 (Show Archive)  

            

We have our best man out looking for Makeruna! Makendo 2 on the PSN!
Be careful where you step, because this is a crime scene. A great injustice was committed right where you're standing, and it looks like the perp might just get away with it. There's no sign of a break-in or struggle and you won't find a single drop of blood on the floor, but you can tell something is amiss. It's clear to the trained eye that somebody stole GungHo's newest batch of import PS1 games. I smell a conspiracy. I do believe the game is afoot.

Here's what we know: Currently all six GungHo import games -- Art Camion Sugorokuden, Finger Flashing, Lup Salad, Makeruna! Makendo 2, Vehicle Cavalier and Zanac x Zanac -- are missing on Sony's PlayStation Network. I

This is a welcome change of pace from the usual old school crimes!
was able to download them using a code supplied by GungHo's PR, but most people attempting to buy the game online are running into a host of unusual problems.

It all started last week, when consumers began to notice strange inconsistencies across platforms. PlayStation 3 owners were immediately able to pick up four of the six titles, with only Vehicle Cavalier and Lup Salad missing. Even more curious is that fact that many of these games are marked as "PlayStation 3-only," something that flies in the face of what GungHo's official website claims.

Inaccurate disclaimer aside, at least gamers can purchase most of the GungHo imports through the PlayStation 3. That's a lot more than I can say about either the PSP or Sony's newest handheld, the PS Vita. Attempting to use the Vita's PSN browser to find these six import games will only lead to frustration. As you can tell from the picture below, GungHo's games aren't advertised in the section reserved for new releases.


While disappointing, perhaps Sony has good reason to keep these obscure Japanese imports away from the rest of the exciting PS Vita releases. Unfortunately, giving Sony the benefit of the doubt will only lead to more disappointment. Notice in the picture below that Zanac x Zanac is nowhere to be found on the alphabetical list of PSone Classics.


There's no designated "Import Store" on the PS Vita's PSN browser, so it should be there mixed in with the likes of XS games and 2Xtreme. But alas, it's completely missing. And the same goes for a manual search, which fails to brings up a single hit when I type in "Zanac". It's as if the game isn't available for the PS Vita.


I have the exact same problems when I attempt to use MediaGo on the PC. Usually I can quickly find the newest PlayStation games using this oft-ignored computer program, but I continue to run into one familiar obstacle after another. None of these GungHo releases are in the new releases section or in a simple search. Even more baffling is their absence from the well-organized Import Store. It's as if these games do not exist.


All but Vehicle Cavalier can be grabbed using the PS Vita's download manager, so you won't even need a PlayStation 3!

This is a big deal. Every day these games are missing from the PSN, GungHo is potentially losing a sale. Their PR has been doing the rounds on the PlayStation blog and other major outlets, so time is of the essence. There will never be a better time to sell people on Finger Flashing and Lup Salad. It's

The real crime is that everybody is missing out on Lup Salad!
devastating that two-thirds of Sony's costumers don't even have a choice about buying these games, despite the fact that their system of choice is fully supported. And even in the best case scenario, only four of the six games are currently available. That is simply unacceptable.

What makes this whole mess even more irritating is that it has gone on for over a week. Yesterday marked the first PSN update since these games went missing, and yet Sony didn't fix the problem. Will GungHo be able to get customers excited about a Japanese-heavy board game starring a bunch of 18-wheelers weeks after the supposed release? Even the most convincing argument is going to be

Vehicle Cavalier may suck, but it deserves to be on PSN!
drowned-out by the excitement for Christmas, winter break, family and everything else competing for your attention.

GungHo is aware of the problem. On Twitter, the company quickly confirmed that they have been in talks with Sony and hope to get to the bottom of the problem soon. Sony has yet to make an official comment regarding the disappearing games.

I know there's a lot of excitement for the end of the year, but make your voice heard. Even if I hated every second of Vehicle Cavalier, it still needs to be available on all three Sony platforms. No matter how good or bad the games are, I want companies like GungHo to continue taking the risk on importing obscure PlayStation games. Sony needs to fix this problem immediately.
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